Volunteers Complete Much-Needed Footbridge in Rural Nicaragua
Flatiron Construction’s first Bridges to Prosperity volunteer team of 2012 has successfully completed a much-needed footbridge in Santa Lucia, Condega, Nicaragua.
A team of 11 volunteers from Flatiron Construction, Turner and E.E. Cruz departed for Nicaragua on Feb. 4. The volunteers, along with local Nicaraguan masons and Bridges to Prosperity’s in-country project manager Milosz Reterski, assembled, erected and connected the suspension bridge during the two-week trip. The team celebrated the bridge opening with the local community on Friday, Feb. 17, and safely returned home the next day.
The newly completed 220-foot footbridge over the Rio Pire serves approximately 2,000 residents in three communities deep in the Chaguite Grande Mountains, a remote tobacco-growing region in the municipality of Condega. The Rio Pire swells tremendously during the rainy season, forcing locals to wade through 100 meters of waist-deep water and then risk their lives attempting to swim across the deeper, swiftly moving water in the river’s center. The bridge allows residents to cross the most dangerous part of the river safely.
“The work felt really meaningful. A highlight for me was being able to communicate with the local people that were working with us and hear their stories about what this bridge means to them,” said Rafael Hammett, a Flatiron field engineer and project manager for the Santa Lucia bridge. “Something that seems so little to us is huge to them. It changes their lives.”
Flatiron Construction will construct at least a dozen footbridges globally with Bridges to Prosperity from 2012 to 2017, including two more in Nicaragua this year.
Check out the video above on the 2012 volunteer trip to Nicaragua, and see even more videos from the trip on the Flatiron YouTube Channel.